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Blupete's Weekly Commentary


January 4, 1998.

"Humanist"

"I use the word 'Humanist' to mean someone who believes that man is just as much a natural phenomenon as an animal or a plant; that his body, mind or soul were not created but are products of evolution, and that he is not under the control or guidance of any supernatural being, but has to rely on himself and his own powers." (Sir Julian Huxley (1887-1975), Humanist Frame, 1961.)

A humanist should be distinguished from a humanitarian. A humanitarian is "one who has a great regard or love for humanity, a philanthropist." Any humanitarian will immediately recognize himself or herself to be one; rarely are they under disguise, they are to be found in the open. Humanitarians dream a lot and have grand visions; they are quick to tell others -- you, me, and everyone else -- on how they should conduct their lives, not their own lives - yours. On dealing with a humanitarian the best way to bring them at bay is to ask: "What type of social structure makes productive activity possible?" If you are interested in following up on this question then there are a number of books that I might recommend; one, a book by Isabel Paterson, The God of the Machine (1943), has a chapter entitled, "The Humanitarian with the Guillotine"; it was in this chapter that Paterson concluded that the "humanitarian in theory is the terrorist in action."

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Peter Landry

January, 1998 (2011)